Great choices for AAA gaming at 1080p.
You don’t need me to tell you that graphics cards prices are crazy these days – but things are getting slowly better. I noticed this afternoon that the RTX 3060 and the RX 6600 XT, the two major ‘1080p performance’ GPUs, have now dipped under £400. That’s still about £70 to £100 over the base RRP, but it’s a big improvement over the situation for the past year where we often saw these cards retailing – and selling – for over £500, £600 and even £700.
Let’s take a look at the RTX 3060 first. There are two models available – a KFA2 EX model with two fans and a one-click OC function, and a slightly more expensive Zotac Twin Edge OC model at £425. There are a fair few other models around this price, but these are the cheapest ‘standard’ and ‘OC’ models I could find.
With the RTX 3060, you get strong 1080p and decent 1440p gaming, plus a better feature-set than the RX 6600 XT: good RT performance, DLSS to boost frame-rates in supported games, good streaming and recording quality via NVENC and so on. However, pure rasterised (ie non-RT) frame-rates are higher on the AMD card.
The cheapest RX 6600 XT card we found was an ex-display RX 6600 XT model for £385, with a new model available for £5 more. These sorts of ex-display cards don’t tend to have any meaningful issues, having been used for GPU reviews and the like, but given the small price difference either is a defensible choice.
The RX 6600 XT represents the other side of the coin: faster rasterised performance (by up to 15%), much worse RT performance and an image upscaling technique (FSR) that works well enough but doesn’t take information from multiple frames into account, producing worse results than DLSS in some scenarios. Note that the models here are actually cheaper than their RTX 3060 competition, despite having a higher RRP (£329 vs £300).
So why the RTX 3060 and RX 6600 XT? After all, there are cheaper current-gen cards available for both Nvidia and AMD. However, I’d consider these two the sweet spot when it comes to overall value. They’re marketed as 1080p cards, but they can push to 1440p and even 4K if you’re willing to play older games and drop down settings where necessary. If 1080p is more your jam though, then you should be well sorted for AAA gaming for the next few years.
Thanks for joining me, and we’ll see you for more deals next time.